The Test of Time: Cartier Shape Your Time Exhibit by Rafael de Cárdenas

Snapshot: The Cartier Shape Your Time exhibit makes its way to Tokyo, featuring the finest in time pieces from the Maison’s early history to today’s innovations at Takeo Obayashi’s Yu-an guesthouse, a venue with an interior environment designed by Rafael de Cárdenas that’s just as intricate and elegant as the clockwork it presents.

Cartier, the jeweller of kings and the king of jewellers, has brought their collection to Tokyo for an eight day experience to celebrate the history of the brand. Finding the perfect spot to host such an event at Yu-an, the guesthouse of Takeo Obeyashi, the interior installations designed by Rafael de Cárdenas establish a sense of illustriousness that matches the fine craftsmanship of Cartier’s timepieces.

Paying homage to the legacy of Cartier, the exhibit displayed a narrative that stretched back to the early beginnings of the brand in 1904. A field of stainless steel columns (each one shaped to form a roman numeral), boldly displays classic timepieces like Cartier’s king of square watches, TANK, along with contemporary iterations of the piece so that you can witness how the design has evolved since its 1917 debut.  Of course, Cartier also had a chance to  show off a few pieces never before seen in Japan, such as the Cartier ID ONE and Cartier ID TWO, featuring the latest in cutting-edge technology.

Yu-an proved to be the perfect place for the occasion. Designed by architect Tadao Ando, the guesthouse matches the elegant aesthetic that Cartier flourishes. Travelling through a courtyard that incorporates 7,000 platinum glazed tiles and a gallery that displays Obayashi Collection of contemporary art, you certainly feel that Rafael’s environment suggests “the polished, modern domestic setting of the Cartier gentleman.”